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Marmite set to make its comeback

Published: 6:02PM Tuesday February 12, 2013 Source: ONE News

New Zealand's national Marmite crisis is over.

Food manufacturer Sanitarium has announced Kiwis' favourite yeast spread is back in production and soon to be on supermarket shelves.

The company's one and only Christchurch factory was forced to shut down in March last year because of earthquake damage to a cooling tower.

For almost a year now, Marmite has become "black gold". When the factory closed, fans rushed to stock up and supermarkets quickly ran dry, sparking a "Marmageddon".

But Marmite lovers will not have to go without for too much longer, with Sanitarium saying repairs are complete and the spread will be back on shelf from March 20.

It will put an end to the online fleecing of Marmite junkies.

Just prior to the announcement there were more than 100 Marmite listings on Trade Me. A 250 gram jar that would normally sell for around $5 had a reserve of up to $120.

Some of the Marmite products had even been used.

While some fans were prepared to pay the exuberant prices, others crossed over to Vegemite.

"Haven't been coping. It's been Vegemite in the cupboard the whole time," said one Marmite lover.

But Vegemite has become an acquired taste for some Marmite devotees.

"I do like Vegemite now. I didn't at the beginning but had to use something," said one convert.

However Sanitarium is confident its customers will come back.

It had been expected the factory would resume production halfway through last year, but more earthquake damage was revealed and the date pushed back.

First to appear back on the shelves will be 250 gram jars, followed by other products.

The Sanitarium factory closure even sparked a legal battle after one shop owner began importing British Marmite in a bid to meet customer demand for the product - a move which Sanitarium said breached its brand trademark.